Fourth graders are students in the age group of 9 to 10. Children in this age group have little knowledge about complex scientific concepts. Although they understand a few basic principles, these kids need help in doing something like a science fair project. Such projects should be based on simple concepts that are easy to understand. Given below are some science fair project ideas for 4th grade students.
Create a Magnetic Compass
In order to execute this project, you need the following items - a needle, a cork, a bar magnet, and a small bowl of water. Charge the needle by rubbing it against the bar magnet. The needle should be rubbed repeatedly for about 15 to 20 times. Keep in mind that the needle has to be rubbed only in one direction. Once the needle gets charged, it should be driven through the cork and placed in the water bowl. As the water becomes still, the needle automatically attains a north-south direction. This happens due to the magnetic charge acquired by the needle.
Make an Electromagnet
4th graders can be introduced to the concept of electromagnetism through this experiment. To carry out this project, you need a copper wire, an iron core, a battery, and some small objects made of iron (such as safety pin). Copper wire should be tightly wound around the iron core in a spiral manner. Make sure that every successive loop is as close as possible to the previous one. Once the winding activity is completed, connect both ends of the copper wire to the positive and negative terminals of the battery. As current passes through the copper wire, a magnetic field is created, and this attracts iron objects. This phenomenon is known as electromagnetism.
Some Simple Ideas
- In this project, you have to determine whether magnetism travels through all objects. This can be done by collecting different materials including metals, stone, plastic, etc. Place each object near the magnet and note down the results. Through this experiment, you can understand the nature of interaction between different materials and the magnet. This gives a basic understanding about materials that are affected by a magnetic field and how strongly they are attracted towards the magnet.
- There is another simple project which can be performed by 4th graders. This experiment is intended to find out the preference of cockroaches for a certain direction. You have to catch a cockroach and release it to find its preference for direction. The activity should be performed repeatedly in order to establish trends and patterns regarding the insect's preference. The same experiment can be performed with other insects.
- You can also try to germinate seeds in liquids other than water. For this purpose, get some beans and different types of liquids, such as juice, milk, vinegar, etc.